Thursday, November 29, 2012

Experts Discuss Stove Programs for Low-Income Families

Alliance for Green Heat, November 29, 2012 - The Alliance for Green Heat and Pam Porter of P Squared Group have begun an informal network of groups and state agencies exploring stove programs aimed at low-income families. The first call of the Network included state officials from Wisconsin and Maryland, the EPA, and Innovative Natural Resource Solutions, a consulting firm working on a stove program in Massachusetts.

Wisconsin is developing a pellet stove program for LIHEAP recipients while the Massachusetts project involves cordwood appliances and firewood dealers. The Maryland rebate program is not confined to low-income homes and is seeking ways to better reach low-income families. The Alliance for Green Heat has been consulting with numerous state programs and also urging states to include wood stoves in energy audits, weatherization programs and treat stoves more fairly in energy assistance programs. For more information, please contact Melissa Bollman at

Maryland Expands Eligibility in Stove Rebate Program

In an effort to make more low and middle-income families eligible for its clean burning wood stove rebate program, the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) is waiving the professional installation requirement under certain circumstances. The MEA is also allowing families who heat with wood or pellets to use the rebate to buy a new, replacement stove. Previously, the MEA only wanted to serve homes that did not have an existing wood or pellet stove. As of November 28, the MEA has received around 40 applications for the rebate and has funding for 100. MEA says that it hopes to extend the program next year.

Here are changes, as described by MEA:

MEA is now accepting qualified self-installed wood burning stoves with documentation of inspection. To accommodate those who are qualified to install stoves at their own home, MEA is now accepting self-installations. The agency wants to ensure that the stoves are safely installed and running efficiently, therefore they are requiring that those self-installed stoves are accompanied by documentation that the stove has been inspected post-install by either a county inspector or an insurance adjuster. In the case of an insurance adjuster’s inspection, a typed letter on the company’s letterhead stating that the installation has been inspected and meets all codes/safety requirements of that jurisdiction will suffice as documentation. In the case of a county building inspector, a “passed” photo or copy of the inspection sticker will suffice.

MEA is now awarding grants for the upgrade of older/less efficient woodstoves. With technology upgrades, MEA now offers the same incentives to households with less efficient stoves, as newer stoves are more efficient, cost effective and environmentally friendly. All other requirements still apply to applications.

For more information see

Questions? Contact Kyle Haas at